Thought for the day

"Fascism is the adoption by vested interests in a society of an authoritarian form of government in order to maintain their vested interests and prevent the reform of that society." -- Carroll Quigley

Tunisian analyst Dr Ali Chokri looks at why President Kais Saied decided in July 2021 to suspend parliament and freeze political activities pending a new constitution, why that constitution – adopted in a low turnout referendum – is so controversial, and the present economic and security situations in Tunisia.>>

The United States sees Africa’s 54 nations as “equal partners” in tackling global problems, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in South Africa Monday.

“Our strategy is rooted in the recognition that sub-Saharan Africa is a major geopolitical force — one that has shaped our past, is shaping our present, and will shape our future,” Blinken said at the University of Pretoria in a speech detailing the Biden administration’s policies for Africa.

Millions of boxes of oranges are spoiling in containers stranded at European ports as South Africa and the European Union lock horns in a dispute over import rules, citrus growers have said.

South Africa, the world’s second largest exporter of fresh citrus after Spain, filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last month after the EU introduced new plant and health safety requirements that orange farmers say threaten their survival.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began his three-nation tour of Africa Sunday by visiting a museum in South Africa commemorating how the country’s Black youths helped to end white racist rule.

Blinken’s visit to Africa is seen as part of a competition between Russia and Western powers for support from African countries over the war in Ukraine. His trip to Africa follows recent tours by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French President Emmanuel Macron.

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British soldiers on training exercises in Kenya have used white phosphorus on 15 occasions since 2017, Declassified has found.

White phosphorus can cause horrific burns to human skin and multiple organ failure, with Russia facing criticism from the U.K. for allegedly firing it in Ukraine this April.

According to Welthungerhilfethe main drivers of hunger include wars, climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most recently, the Russian attack on Ukraine further exacerbated food supply problems. Even before that though, the situation in many African countries was serious, as this map based on the 2021 World Hunger Index illustrates.

African countries welcome cooperation with Russia, despite the West’s attempts at setting them against Moscow, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyansky said on Friday.

"We hear statements from Western capitals that Russia’s policy in Africa is allegedly aimed against Africa’s interests or that our actions are allegedly malign. These are obvious and lame attempts at setting countries of this continent against Russia," he said after the voting on extending sanctions against the Central African Republic.

Russian, French and American leaders are crisscrossing Africa to win support for their positions on the war in Ukraine, waging what some say is the most intense competition for influence on the continent since the Cold War. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French President Emanuel Macron are each visiting several African countries this week. Samantha Power, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, went to Kenya and Somalia last week. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, will go to Ghana and Uganda next week.

A South African minister has called for the classification of Israel as an apartheid state, to hold it responsible for its violations against Palestinians.

At a meeting with the Palestinian Heads of Mission in Africa Conference in Pretoria on Tuesday, the South African minister of international relations and cooperation, Naledi Pandor, said the UN General Assembly should investigate whether Israeli occupation can be labelled as apartheid.